Help give Basic High School students a financial "reality check"

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Center for Financial Empowerment

Two local teens try to stick to a budget while choosing their housing and child care costs in the Mad City Money simulation activity.

Volunteers play the role of merchants in this fictional MAD CITY where students are transported 10 years into the future. They have all graduated from college or trade schools, they are all married and they have children. Students are given a Profile Sheet with income information. The students then have to make purchases at all 10 stations which include housing, transportation, clothing, food etc. Volunteers man the stations and engage with students trying to upsell them (because this happens in real life).

What is a Mad City Money Activity?

  • Mad City Money is the hands-on simulation that teaches financial education in a real world scenario.
  • Student participants are transported into the future and are now playing the role of adults - they are paired up like a real couple, complete with careers and salaries, student loan and credit card debt, a child and medical insurance payments.
  • The participants will need to visit 10 different "REAL WORLD" merchants to shop for food, a house, a car, child-care, vacations, entertainment and more. Now it’s much more than just shopping, these merchants treat participants like real world adults and always try to get the most from every sale. The participants will face pushy salespeople, and all kinds of temptations to spend money but they must maintain a budget throughout the process.
  • They will learn to write checks, use a debit card, balance their accounts and most importantly, learn valuable financial skills that will help them in the real world.
  • See a Mad City Money event in action, hear from the students and the faculty, find out why this simulation is truly unique and how successful it has been in teaching financial education.

3 More opportunities with Center for Financial Empowerment

About Center for Financial Empowerment



Mission Statement

The Center for Financial Empowerment is committed to improving the lives of teens and young adults in underserved communities through financial education.


The Center for Financial Empowerment is a non-profit charitable agency that provides financial education and improvement programs for underserved youth and families in the Greater Los Angeles area and Las Vegas. Through effective financial education and experiential learning, we help teens and young adults learn smart money skills to make better spending choices, save money, avoid credit problems and achieve financial stability.


Mon Dec 09, 2019
08:00 AM - 12:00 PM  


400 Palo Verde DriveHenderson, NV 89015



  • General Education
  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Financial Literacy
  • Budgeting




  • Must be at least 21
  • Please remain at your station for the duration of the 3 hour event.
  • Be energetic and enjoy engaging with high schoolers.

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